Ed Kretz was the top motorcycle racer in the 1930s and 1940s, he bought his first motorcycle when he was 20 years old out of sheer necessity, it was the Great Depression and an Indian Motorcycle was all Ed could afford as a mode of transportation.
He began attending motorcycle races as a spectator in the 1930s and quickly decided that he could do better than many of the guys on the racetrack, he began entering races on his almost stock Indian and quickly became one of the top riders. He won the very first Daytona 200 race in 1937, then went onto win the 200 mile Savannah Nationals at Langhorn and would win again in 1936, 1937, 1938, 1940, and 1948.
During WWII Ed was enlisted by the US Army to train motorcycle troops on riding and maintaining their Indian Motorcycles, many of these troops were deployed within the European theatre of war where the Indian became a highly respected workhorse, often being used to race along trails to forward positions whilst under heavy sniper fire.
Ed Kretz retired from professional racing in 1959 and went on to open a motorcycle dealership which he ran for 30 years before retiring in 1986, sadly he passed away in 1996, leaving behind a loving family and a list of personal achievements that’ll forever etch him into the history of the motorcycle in the 20th century.
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